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Our FIRST Vacation | Kauai Hawaii Photographer

Luke and I have been married for 5 years this month and this is our very first VACATION together. Sure we take lots of “trips” to visit our family, but we never took a honeymoon and have never left the children. First we were poor. Then I was pregnant, nursing or too scared to leave my children. As the years passed, my longing for a sunny vacation grew…and finally we decided it was time.

We got a killer deal on tickets on Black Friday, but left the rest of our planning till the last minute. We booked our Airbnb a month before, our car a few days before and planned the rest of our trip after we got here. This is sooo not me. I am a big big planner and list maker. I was a little spazzy at first, but after we spent the entire first day scoping this place out and learning about the island, I started my planning. I searched for the best hikes, the best views, looked back to all my friends advice and planned the most relaxing + fun + incredible trip 😻 Every day was a new adventure with this hunk by my side.

Kauai is heaven on earth. Beautiful, green mountains, trees and coast lines. Amazing culture, friendly people. SOOO much to do, so much to see. The rest of this post is a journal of our trip. It’s mostly for me, but I did link all our favorite spots for those of you wanting to add Kauai to your bucket list. Totally worth it, promise!Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer1 Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer2 Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer3 Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer6Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer7Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer9 Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer4 Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer8 Kylee Ann Photography Kauai Hawaii Photographer2012741955_10209009763185288_2603634914395190223_n

DAY ONE

We drove all the way to the end of the road at Napali Coast and stopped all along the way to watch the surf, look at the caves and cliffs and take in the incredible Kauai views. The North shore is known for huge surf and this day it was 20+ft the whole time. We spent several hours in the cute surfer town of Hanalei window shopping, eating delicious food (Bubba’s Burgers and the Crepe Truck) and watching bits and pieces of the surfer competition from their computer screens.  After we were all pooped out we checked into our Airbnb in Princeville at Nihilani. Two bedrooms, full kitchen, living room, laundry and incredible amenities. It’s in a cute neighborhood. We LOVE it and will definitely recommend this condo to anyone. We had dinner in Princeville at Fredrico’s. Best taquitos ever.

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DAY TWO

Beach day. We drove to the sunny south shore to swim, lay in the sun and walk on the sand. We ended up back in Hanalei for more shopping and more yummy food. We had dinner at Kalypso and my mouth is still watering from their ravioli…local mushrooms and tomatoes. YUM.

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DAY THREE

We started the day with delicious crepes and a walk along the sandy North shore beaches. Then we sailed into the sunset on our Napali Coast dinnercruise. Dolphins and whales swam by the side of our ship as we saw the gorgeous Napali Coast views. SO many amazing pictures and the BEST experience that it got it’s own blog post.

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DAY FOUR

Sunday! We got out of bed at 8:15am to shower and get to church by 9:00am 15 minutes away. We both showered, and made it to church on time (plus or minus a few minutes)…wet hair and all. I love attending Church on the island. It’s a little more casual, but exactly the same teachings, spirit and order. Every talk starts with a big “Aloha” and there were a TON of ceiling fans. After church we ate, then headed on a Sunday drive up the mountains. We stopped and took lots of fun pictures along the way, but my favorite was by Luke in front of the waterfall. It was a sketchy “walk” down to the falls, but after a little freak out session we made it without a single scratch. We later found out there was a much less sketchy trail…except it was still pretty crazy. The locals told us not to do it, but it was definitely worth it and I’m glad we turned around and did it.

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DAY FIVE

Monday was for adventuring in the mountains with my love. More hikes, more fun, more beautiful scenery. Loved our Kauai Backcountry Adventures fluming tour down the irrigation system of the old sugar cane plantation. The plantation shut down when Hawaii became a state because their less than $.50/hr wages changed to $6/hr wages and they couldn’t afford to keep it running. Now it’s a flume tour. We did some beach stops, another trip to the waterfall and ate more yummy food.
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We woke up and headed to a burger place that a local recommended. Duane’s Ono Char-Burger aka HEAVEN in a bun. It was definitely our favorite burger on the Island. The Local Girl burger….to die for. After lunch we took a few pictures in Kapaa then headed to our very last beach day. We soaked up the sun one last time and ended up with very painful sunburns. As we lounged on the beach, we watched dolphins, fish and whales do tricks from afar. It was incredible! I hunted crabs, Luke read his book and we played around in the water for a little while too. After beach day, we headed to Ono Ono Shaved Ice for the best shaved ice/ice cream mix of all time.  I soaked in a cold bath to help the sunburn, then we headed to dinner at another delicious spot. Bouchons in Hanalei…our favorite hang out. It was the perfect end to an incredible week.

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8 full days away from our babies. Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Are we going to do it again? Yes. Do we recommend Kauai? YES! Are we done posting pictures about it? On this blog…probably. On Instagram…we’ll see ;)

PS If you are planning a trip to Kauai… eat local, use airbnb, plan excursions, hike, explore the entire island and take me with you… :)

March 4, 2016

Kylee Maughan

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